29 March 2019 FT — Articles to Read

29 March 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what is the average household income?


Turkey blows third of reserves to prop up lira ahead of elections – Pg. 1

–          …net foreign reserves, dropped #2.3bn last week…

–          The renewed currency weakness added to this week’s turmoil in Turkish markets, which for investors carries an uncomfortable echo of the lira crisis that scarred the economy last summer


Pension funds retain stakes in Chinese security group despite US clampdown – Pg. 1

–          Two of the US’s biggest public pension funds own stakes in Kikvision, a Chinese company that supplies surveillance technology to camps in Xinjiang where Muslims are held

–          The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (Calstrs) and the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) continue to hold investments in Hikvision…

–          Hikvision, which is the world’s biggest surveillance company, supplies systems to facilities that Beijing describes as “education centres”, where an estimated 1m Ulghurs are being held


Facebook is not our friend, no matter what their adverts say – Pg. 11

–          A study of more than 150,000 young people in 30 countries over a 21-year period found last year that cyberbullying victims were more than twice as likely to self-harm and enact suicidal behavior

–          Together, Google and Facebook control nearly 60% of the digital advertising market in the US, where so many papers have closed that “new deserts” have crept across the country

–          (Prof Note: I have always resisted FaceBook and remain one of the few without an account.  I hear more negative stories than positive ones.)


The factors that have set fire to bonds – Pg. 21

–          The 2019 bond market rally is gaining momentum, pushing down yields and lifting the value of the fixed income universe by $1.6tn in value just since the beginning of March

–          Fixed income markets have been buoyant for much of that year, as investors remained fairly downbeat about economic growth, and therefore inflation and the likelihood of central banks raising interest rates

–          The narrative was reinforced by New Zealand’s central bank on Wednesday, when it unexpectedly hinted at fourthcoming interest rate cuts and warned that “the global economic outlook has continued to weaken, in particular amongst some of our key trading partners including Australia, Europe and China”

–          The near-euphoria that surrounded the global economy a year ago has been replaced with gloom as markets have become more turbulent and a string of economic releases have come in well below expectations

–          The IMF in January cut its growth forecast for global growth by 0.2% to 3.5%, and there has been little good news since

–          The US yield curve has inverted.  The curve consist of Treasury yields of various maturities, and normally slopes upwards as longer-term US government bond yields are higher than short-term bill yields, to compensate investors for inflation and locking up their money for a long time.  When the curve flattens, it indicates that investors think growth is slowing; when it inverts, it has proved an accurate predictor of downturn

–          The US yield curve inverted last week as investors sharply marked down their expectations for growth, inflation and interest rates, stirring concerns that the post-crisis economic expansion – which this summer will become the longest in history – is heading for a grisly end


Answer: $57,652